Kenya extends 4G mobile spectrum bid deadline


Kenya’s government has given telecom operators in the country an extension to bid on a 4G spectrum license, the country’s ministry of communications announced this week.

Bitange Ndemo, Kenya's Information Ministry Permanent Secretary (image source: file photo)

The 14 September 2011 deadline has been extended by two weeks despite an initial lack of interest by local telecom firms. The new deadline has been set for September 27 2011.

Previously, 3G licenses were awarded to each operator in the country, but the new 4G license is to be tightly controlled by the government and offered to operators who must have at least 20% local ownership.

This new requirement has pushed Airtel and Essar’s Yu out of the bidding process. Safaricom and Telkom Kenya are able to bid, but according to the information ministry, neither of these two operators appear interested in the new license.

“No consortium had applied,” said Kenya’s Information Ministry Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo.

“We’ve given them more time to form consortia and that’s the reason we have extended the bidding period by two weeks,” said Ndemo.

Janan Yussif